The government has kept nearly 9.45 lakh people under surveillance for suspected COVID-19 infection and prompt sampling of these people are taken upon detection of symptoms, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Friday. In a press briefing, officials from the Health Ministry, NCDC and Chairman of an Empowered Group on Coronavirus response held that India's efforts have been prompt and the lockdown a success to avert a steep spike in cases as per projections.
"Around 9.45 lakh people are under the surveillance network at present and prompt sampling of these people are taken upon detection of symptoms. Surveillance Network has been set up at district level as well, so that household survey, quarantine and isolation are done as part of cluster containment plan. We had started our surveillance mechanism even before the first COVID-19 case was reported in India, this played an important role in helping us contain the spread of the infection," NCDC Director, Dr. Sujeet Singh, told reporters.
When asked about the parameters for marking these nine lakh people, Sujeet Singh said data was provided by the Ministry of External Affairs on the arrival of travellers from foreign countries and those suspected asymptomatic virus carriers at airports were marked and kept under surveillance.
"We got data from the Bureau of Immigration which was shared with State and district authorities who then put them under surveillance. Secondly, once a case was reported in a community, we traced all contacts of that person and divide it into high-risk contact and low-risk contact. Likewise, we put everyone from the Tablighi Jamaat and all those who came under their contact under surveillance," the NCDC chief said.
The Health Ministry informed that 1,684 new cases of novel Coronavirus have been reported and 491 patients were cured in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 23,077 and recoveries to 4,748 with an improved recovery rate of 20.57%. The number of districts with no fresh cases in the last 28 days has risen to 15, with three additions — Durg and Rajnandgaon in Chattisgarh and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. There are 80 districts from where no positive case has come up for 14 days.